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Lappy9000
2011-04-08, 05:55 PM
Cool, I've gotten enough feedback to satisfy me, so this is closed.

Thanks again!

DukeofDellot
2011-04-08, 06:28 PM
I've looked it over briefly, so far I'm curious.

What's your design theory here?
In what way do you believe you're making the game "easy"?

I'm going to put an in depth look into it, as I'm also currently working on an "easy" system, but approaching it from another direction.

First thought, you might want to turn that character sheet into a PDF as well, or attach it to the back of your book, as when opening it in my document editor, it came out misaligned.

Lappy9000
2011-04-08, 09:15 PM
I've looked it over briefly, so far I'm curious.

What's your design theory here?
In what way do you believe you're making the game "easy"?Simply, the goal is to make the game more accessible and easier to understand for people who have never played or rarely played before. Have things make more sense, and do it as simply as possible.

In a sense, both 'easy' and 'how it's supposed to be.' I'm working to tackle the issues newbies often have that make it difficult for them to get into the game. Issues that have come up:

Character sheet looks like a tax report
Too many skills/too spread out
Spells difficult to understand ("I'm 3rd level, why can't I cast 3rd level spells?") This one has also had issues with spells per day and spells not scaling, so I borrowed the psionics power point system.
Grapple rules/combat special actions in general

Then there's the how it should be such as:

Summing up the basics of the system up-front.
Racial abilities scaling
Making favored class matter without multiclassing
Class roles being better defined (classes too, and each with completely unique features)
Weapon proficiencies ("Why do I need a feat to use a whip? It's the only weapon my character wants to use, so shouldn't they have trained in it instead of those others?")
Making level 1 more survivable.

And things just to make it easier:

Character levels only 1-10.
Simplified spells (and less of them; only 20 per tier)
Fewer status conditions, made to be more like ones from popular video game RPG's
Combat special actions lessened and condensed into a single Combat Maneuver bonus
No multiclassing and specializations (basically alternate class features) instead of prestige classes
Feats all on one page (the table in the PhB has terrified more than a few new players)
Classes each on one page
Fewer modifiers to worry about (10)

The downsides are that it cuts out on certain aspects of the game (necromancy, companions, summoning), as well as the level of options available. Of course, that's 3.5's strength and it's biggest fault, so this system is just to ease new players into the full version, or for quick-play games. Done some playtesting, and it seems to work great on both accounts so far.

I'm going to put an in depth look into it, as I'm also currently working on an "easy" system, but approaching it from another direction.I'd appreciate that, and I'd like to see your approach as well.


First thought, you might want to turn that character sheet into a PDF as well, or attach it to the back of your book, as when opening it in my document editor, it came out misaligned.Good idea, thanks.

DukeofDellot
2011-04-08, 11:40 PM
Okay, well for the last four and a half hours I "skimmed" over it and recorded random thoughts. I was light on the classes, but pretty into the spells (don't ask, I don't know), and by now I'm in a weird mood, so I'm posting my thought process.

My conclusion. You're idea of what is "easy" is vastly different from mine.

Before I start, I will say this. It is a good game. One that I'd enjoy playing, though I'd probably make use of the "Homebrew" section on the front. Nice touch, by the way, it's almost like you're asking for the following:

I wrote section two first... and didn't see your post until after. Here's my thought process reading your post.


Simply, the goal is to make the game more accessible and easier to understand for people who have never played or rarely played before. Have things make more sense, and do it as simply as possible.

So you want to make a game easier, by making it easier. A lot makes so much more sense now. You're much too smart. You need to think like an idiot to simplify things.


In a sense, both 'easy' and 'how it's supposed to be.' I'm working to tackle the issues newbies often have that make it difficult for them to get into the game. Issues that have come up:

I came into this thinking you were focused on "easy". I saw a lot of "How it's supposed to be", not so much easy.


Character sheet looks like a tax report
So does yours.

Too many skills/too spread out
You're solution: elegant.

Spells difficult to understand ("I'm 3rd level, why can't I cast 3rd level spells?") This one has also had issues with spells per day and spells not scaling, so I borrowed the psionics power point system.
So renaming them as "Tiers" fixes that?

Grapple rules/combat special actions in general
I agree, Pathfinder did good here. Why change it? I'm being serious.

Summing up the basics of the system up-front.
Okay. Solid idea. Most of my players have yet to pick up the rulebooks of any of the games I play. By choice, mind you.

Racial abilities scaling
True, almost all of your races have an ability like that.

Making favored class matter without multiclassing
I'd like an elaboration on the thought process in this one.

Class roles being better defined (classes too, and each with completely unique features)
Mage can do a little of everything.
Savant can do a little of everything, but to a lesser degree.
Warrior can survive to tale the tale, if a Mage is around.
Done and Done.

Weapon proficiencies ("Why do I need a feat to use a whip? It's the only weapon my character wants to use, so shouldn't they have trained in it instead of those others?")
So you give a weapon proficiency as a bonus feat at first level, simple.

Making level 1 more survivable.
I completely missed that one. What did you do?

And things just to make it easier: Character levels only 1-10.
I've never used the upper half of the levels. But I figured my players would be able to handle them by that point. I'm going to need another elaboration here. Because this statement makes no amount of sense.

Simplified spells (and less of them; only 20 per tier)
Spells are usually the first thing I drop from a game when I want to simplify it. But this was a refreshing change.

Fewer status conditions, made to be more like ones from popular video game RPG's
Somewhere in section 2, you'll see my opinion on that. I won't spoil it here.

Combat special actions lessened and condensed into a single Combat Maneuver bonus
Yeah, I love pathfinder too.

No multiclassing and specializations (basically alternate class features) instead of prestige classes
Specializations should be relocated and further elaborated upon. Currently they're hiding somewhere in the equipment section. Bring them up to class section. They are a good idea, but need a little grooming.

Feats all on one page (the table in the PhB has terrified more than a few new players)
I'd scrap the whole concept, but that's me. Give a few of those abilities to characters for free, and tie some of the others into certain classes. You're classes are very customizable as is, and probably don't need feats to add options.

Classes each on one page
I noticed that. Each filled exactly one page, but had a full chart and was very well organized. I was light on the classes on my read through, I'll go back over them again, but I will say this. Each time I had a clear idea what the class was, and through most I felt like I wanted to play it. The Rogue especially.

Fewer modifiers to worry about (10)
I recall casting Bulls Strength and Enlarge Person on a Raging Vampire Barbarian. It took him seven minutes to attack... that was five modifiers... and that was one of my better players, but I wasn't Game Master so my reluctance to do his math for him gave way by the time he had to attack again.

The downsides are that it cuts out on certain aspects of the game (necromancy, companions, summoning), as well as the level of options available. Of course, that's 3.5's strength and it's biggest fault, so this system is just to ease new players into the full version, or for quick-play games. Done some playtesting, and it seems to work great on both accounts so far.
You know, I've seen nothing but disappointment from sidekicks in my games (other than one time in our GURPS Furries game... but that's a long story). This game is damn sexy... It definitely fixes a lot of 3.5's problems, possibly some of the best fixes I've seen in some time.


After all this, I guess I came in expecting a rules light system. I've been equating simplicity with speed of thought of a brain that has trouble processing math. My current project removes arithmetic from the core mechanic. In fact, you have arithmetic only in taking damage. Which part of me wants to do away with...

Section 2:
I'm about to be a total jerk. Granted I typed this line at the specialization comment, so I've already been jerking for the last... three hours, apparently.

...

Now that I'm four hours in, I'm going to say that I'm not basing this off of anything... unless you consider my years of experience as a game designer... which I don't.

I think you misunderstood what a "Core Mechanic" is. A core mechanic is the basic rule that the whole game boils down to, not an explanation of the terms included. In this case, you are using the d20 core mechanic, which is:

"When you encounter a situation where success is in question, you roll a twenty sided die, add modifiers, then compare it to a target number. Sometimes this target number is another roll."

... or something similar.

Elves and Warforged don't have a +2 to any stats? I don't doubt that their other abilities make for that, but they are immediately less attractive to the uninformed. I'm speaking as an uninformed here.

Knee jerk reaction: Calling a class Mage (Cleric) or Warrior (Guardian)... feels a little... unfriendly. I understand grouping them by specialization or background, but when conversing about them in person, I can hardly see someone calling them by that name. It just sounds weird when you say it aloud. It does bring attention to the Favored Class tendency to a favored of each of the three specializations.

And as soon as I reach the page explaining what these parentysised items are, they say that the inner term is the class and outer is role. Now that I'm looking at it, I see what was bugging me. If it were me, I'd turn them inside out: Cleric (Mage), Wizard (Mage), Guardian (Warrior).

You still have feats, you still increase your stats as you level, and skills are still there... and you gain languages as you level... that's... genius. As you adventure you pick up tongues and... It just makes so much sense! ... but nothing was dropped... maybe the classes...

Hitting the classes... and to my total surprise, they're full of content. This is seriously where I thought you'd go simple. Where's the easy? Looks like multi-classing was removed, and each class conveniently fills exactly one page. Spell Points! The removal of memorized casting! That's delicious.

Okay, closer look at the class abilities of the Mages. The theme seems to be customization. I like that.

Quick Question: Mages get Spells (and spell points), Savants get mechanical abilities (and Improv points)... what makes a Savant (Bard) instead of a Mage (Bard)?

Page 14 under Trapfinding (Ex): "You can use Engineering to disarm magical attacks." That's supposed to be "Traps"? ... I want to play that Rogue... I want to play that Rogue so much... wait... Sneak Attack happens when you "catch an enemy off guard"? You mean they must be unaware of your attack? ... or can you surprise them with unusual tactics? ...did you remove flatfoot AC?

So a Warrior (Barbarian) and Mage (Wizard) both get the same DR... I was wondering about that. The Abjuration ability of the Mage (Wizard) seems a little ultra-ultra. Just a little though.

Still on the Warrior (Barbarian), I was looking at the lack of a SP or Improv, and came to the conclusion that you just keep going and going, but you have a limited ability. I mean that might just be my weird thinking, but maybe you could rework those "Rage Rounds" into Improv points that can be spent to enter a rage.

Returning to an earlier question, I guess I had only seen the barbarian when I asked the Mage (Bard) Question. I'm leaving it there, because the Savant (Bard) still felt a little more like a Mage (Bard) even if it lacked full spell progression.

Backing up... you used the same Base attack Bonus thing. I guess I'm going to go look it up now, but... I see it's left unanswered (or I couldn't find it) when you have a Base Attack Bonus of +6 or higher, do you get the extra attack for free, or as a full round action?

At around this point, my short attention span and caffeine are hindering my ability to keep this organized.

Warrior (Tactician): What does Combat Mastery (EX) do? (I think there's a typo there)

Skills... Creativity? That skill makes sense, but the name seems like it will make some amusing conversation. "What happened there? You just kept attacking while the monsters swarmed you. You kept attacking while your friends fled. You kept attacking even though you missed almost every time!" "Well, I didn't have Creativity trained. My character was very simple."

There it is! One of the feats mentions full attacks. I assume that means full attacks are full round actions. That feat is Awesome Strike. And it... lets you take a penalty to an attack to gain an equal bonus to the next attack? The next statement makes me believe that's a typo, and you take that penalty to AC. Is this the case?

That Savant (Rogue) I want to play... first level feat will be Parkour. Possibly the coolest feat on the list... though this Power Focus thing crept up on me. Do you need to be a magic user to have Power Focus? Or is it just something characters can do? The rule is placed in the rules for spell casting, so I guess that's a distinction you might want to make.

And equipment time... Hm... I guess... Did I ever mention that equipment bores me? It does... I've created many a game that simplify equipment out of the system altogether. Though the "Piercing" weapon trait seems like a pain in the ass to implement.

So these runes... they cost 1000 silver for each +1, right? None of the runes mention this +1. I have no point of reference as to how much they cost. Are they just to be discovered in game?

And Specializations, the classes that could not have been. They seem slapped on... though not unwelcome, I like the idea. And it seems like they might implement well, but why aren't they at the end of the Classes instead of Equipment? Also, if the first ability is taken at 4th level, do I have to wait until 7th to get the second? Can I take one instead of a bonus feat? I'm taking one at Savant (Bard) levels 3 and 6 work for you, then I pick up my Bard Song +5 at level 9, boo-yah!

Translation: They need more explanation.

Attacks of Opportunity... of all the things I thought made d20 annoying for beginners, you left them in? I'm okay with that. It adds a... ... you know, as a game designer with seven years of experience, I still haven't figured out what they bring to the table.

And... I was about to start on spells, I guess Conditions first.

Blinded: Attacks debatably require vision, do they receive the -4 penalty and the 50% miss chance? Is there any reason you didn't just make that a -4 to vision based rolls and attack rolls?

Frightened: I have to run away? Really? Kelgar the Warrior (Barbarian) would never run from a fight! (Checking to make sure he's not immune)... Wait... at level 10, random opponents run away whenever I rage? Friggin' Sweet!

Poisoned: 5% of my health... I think 5% of my players would be able to tell me how much that is. That's not an exaggeration.

Prone: Wow, thatís a heavy penalty to attacks. So I guess I'm not going prone to snipe with my crossbow... or make myself a harder target to see... or hit at a range.

Dead and Dying: So I'm under the impression that you removed stabilization and left death at a constant value for "ease", personally I think that makes the game harder, but whatever.

Natural Healing: Wow that sucks. I guess we'd better not go anywhere without a spell caster. Duck, "But I always play Rogues!" Digus, "But I always play Barbarians!" Nose, "But I wanted to play... alright, I'll heal..." (Real world quote)

Regeneration: Alright, that's cool. Now why isn't poison that simple?

Now to spells... That is the last section right? Wait... that last page. Might I suggest Open Office.org? It can make .PDFs, has most of the functions of MS Word, and eats up memory like hungry Illithid... okay, maybe that last one is why I'm typing this in Notepad. Also they put .org on the application... It's a little silly, but it gets the job done.

Ah... the Augment system... the reason I'm hesitant to bring Psionics into my tabletop...

So I have this idea, take it with a grain of salt, but with one of my previous systems, I printed stuff out on Index cards. You could, set up another PDF with the spell list, each one right sized for such a purpose. That way when a player selects his spells you can hand out the cards to the players and take them back up at the end of the session. Maybe making multiple copies of the popular spells.

I saw this earlier, but it didn't register. There's but one spell list. So five of the nine classes can effectively heal. That means the Natural Healing isn't so bad.

Burning Hands: 2d4? So it gets twice the bonus from the Mage (Wizard) ability "Evocation"?

Cure Light Wounds: I see you upped it to twelve sided... I see you put this 10% thing. I'm serious when I say that most of my players couldn't move a decimal over. On that note Cure Serious Wounds has a 30% thing... that's even worse.

Jolt: What is this spell supposed to be. A "blast of storm"? You mean a storm cloud appears in... the 50 foot radius around the caster? What? That's either a typo, or really amazing. My DR happy Mage (Wizard) is going to flaunt this spell.

Light: Taking it. Color of my choice? Damn strait. My dungeon crawl is going to be lit up with a puke green glowing orb. Plus it can attack. That is an awesome spell... I'm seriously saying that I like it, a lot.

Protection: So resist energy, shield, and mage armor were reduced to a single spell. Nice. I think my Mage (Wizard) has his nitch.

Ray of Frost: Stuns the target for how long? They only get one save? Forget Burning Hands! Hell, forget dealing damage, my Mage (Wizard) will stun lock everyone and leave the Savant (Rogue) and Warrior (Barbarian) to mop up everyone.

Revivify: Bringing characters back from the dead, from first level? Wait, it has to be within 1 round? ... or within a couple rounds at higher levels? ... and that dang percent of the health thing is back. No sale.

Sense Emotion: Game breaking. Sold!

Valor: okay, so there's a second protection... wait... doesn't Valor normally involve courage? How does hiding behind a magical shield equate courage? (joshing... don't answer that)

2nd Tier: Let's see something more powerful than Sense Emotion or Ray of Frost.

Ability Boost: So I get all six for the price of one? Sold.

Augury: ... that's 2nd tier? Can't someone just connect the results and save the spell known and SP? I can see it being used... by a 1st level character played by someone who's knew to the game, but by this point... I highly doubt...

Control Wind: Why not have it every 1 SP spent increases the DC by 1... holy... I didn't even notice that Augments all cost the same... Ray of Frost is better.

Death Knell: All dying creature must save or die? You heal a little. Neat, if it were Tier 1, otherwise...

Endure Elements: Never mind...

Fireball: It knocks people prone? Why would anyone use Control Wind?

Invisibility: That augment seems awkward. Maybe it was instead a maintain style... am I suggesting an extra rule? Shame on me.

Knock: It hurts constructs? That's neat. But I've decided, my Mage (Wizard) lives in a barn. That way only an Archmage can bug him.

Levitate: Is that free range flight?

Mirror Image: So, they're all adjacent to me. What happens when I have a dozen or more of them, are they all in the same spaces as me... is this game mint for battle map use?

Terror: Damn... That's cool. My Mage (Wizard) will flaunt this will the Warrior (Barbarian) sits and waits for his capstone ability.

And 3rd Tier.

Agonize: There's something... I'd call it a 2nd Tier though... unless it hit an area.

Dispel Magic: Now you're talking. That's what I call big guns. Sold.

Dominate: Also awesome. Sold.

Flight: So Levitate wasn't free range flight?

Heroism: Slightly wonky wording... otherwise a nice one.

Pandemonium: The spell that would sell the my Rogue player on a spell caster... probably the Mage (Bard)... I mean Savant (Bard).

Polymorph: Typo on the Augment... or the duration.

Summon Anima: ... That's... setting specific, isn't it? Maybe on a revision, you could put a little of that.

Time Hop: Hilarious! Sold! Not as powerful as Ray of Frost, but sold nonetheless!

True Seeing: You cause a Will save... to yourself? That seems wonky. I'd as soon make it absolute. Second, the Range is touch and 100... oh, the true sight only reaches 100 ft. They couldn't use it to see through an illusionary castle on the horizon, or something. Okay, but the wording is... not bad, but you might possibly consider rearrange it. Never mind, I tried, and that's as good a wording as I could come to.

Wall of Fire: That guy deals a lot of damage but isn't nearly as flashy as other effects. I'd cast that on top of a Ray of Frosted guy. Unless flavor gets in the way, sold!

...

Spells that Augment doesn't seem worth it at all: Detect Magic, Gravitate (also, weird name), Entangle, Jolt, Magic Missile, Augury, Calm Emotions, Dimension Swap (allies larger than large?), Spider Climb, Terror, Agonize, Blur, True Seeing (I've mentioned it, but I'll say it again). Maybe you shouldn't put an Augment on everything.

Also for consideration, maybe you could have each character have a single saving throw that all their spells roll off of. Or something like 10 + Casting modifier + SP expended.

Conclusion: Advertise as a d20 fix, not an easier d20. It's good, really good... but it's not much easier... at all.

I guess I could go back and look at classes as in depth as I did spells... I'm in a totally different zone by now. And I'll repeat, nothing here should be taken too seriously. This is all the same random thought process I have whenever I plow through a game.

Doc Roc
2011-04-09, 02:32 AM
Why.... why did entangle need to get stronger?

Warforged do not appear to be OGL content.

Flight is readily available to sorcerers, who are crushingly more powerful than your warrior classes very early in the game. It looks like it only gets worse. God help you if you have a weak save. Looks like most classes are going to be weak in either will or reflex, so I can probably get away with just targeting those two. Con is linked to fort still, so it's not a good plan to aim at that most of the time......

Let's assume for a moment that the various classes aren't intended to be directly balanced against each other. That's fine, but... then...where are the critters? How am I supposed to even consider running this?

Lappy9000
2011-04-09, 05:22 AM
Okay, well for the last four and a half hours I "skimmed" over it and recorded random thoughts. I was light on the classes, but pretty into the spells (don't ask, I don't know), and by now I'm in a weird mood, so I'm posting my thought process.You're a champ. Just want ya' to know that right now. Never in my wildest dreams did I expect to garner this level of critique from putting the system up here. I'll have to thank my friend who prodded me constantly to put it online (I was wholly opposed to the idea, actually).

I'll say it a lot, but thank you. Sincerely.


My conclusion. You're idea of what is "easy" is vastly different from mine.

Before I start, I will say this. It is a good game. One that I'd enjoy playing, though I'd probably make use of the "Homebrew" section on the front. Nice touch, by the way, it's almost like you're asking for the following:I came to a revelation about that easy factor not far down. But I am glad you liked the House Rules section. Seemed like a nice touch to add in.


I wrote section two first... and didn't see your post until after. Here's my thought process reading your post.Hey, I read from the bottom up, so it worked! (I really despise doing spells, so I got that out of the way, quick-like)


So you want to make a game easier, by making it easier. A lot makes so much more sense now. You're much too smart. You need to think like an idiot to simplify things.

I came into this thinking you were focused on "easy". I saw a lot of "How it's supposed to be", not so much easy.You know, you brought to mind an interesting consideration I had never considered. Perhaps the newer players I have shown this have taken to it easier because of my DMing style more than the system? That's something to ponder.

And yeah, easy and how it should be are colliding together quite a bit. I won't debate the easy aspect, given your fine-toothed review.


So does yours.Perhaps so, but far less so when folded onto a half-sheet of paper. Space efficient too. Seems I was too lazy to write up the folding instructions. I'll change the download to a .pdf as soon as I'm done responding.


You're solution: elegant.I'm flattered!


So renaming them as "Tiers" fixes that?Surprisingly (in my experience, at least), yes (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0012.html).


I agree, Pathfinder did good here. Why change it? I'm being serious.They did a damn good job, indeed. However, it's still more in-depth than my players or I tend to get.


Okay. Solid idea. Most of my players have yet to pick up the rulebooks of any of the games I play. By choice, mind you.Of course, but it helps if they only need to read 1-2 pages.


True, almost all of your races have an ability like that.That was the plan.


I'd like an elaboration on the thought process in this one.Everyone so far has drastically strayed to a favored class since I jacked the Pathfinder mechanic for it. That little hit point goes a long way.


Mage can do a little of everything.
Savant can do a little of everything, but to a lesser degree.
Warrior can survive to tale the tale, if a Mage is around.
Done and Done.Bother, has that really not changed at all? I'm hoping for a bit of 3.5 bias in that conclusion....


So you give a weapon proficiency as a bonus feat at first level, simple.That's the idea, thanks.


I completely missed that one. What did you do?Extra hit points for favored class, more healing from Cure Light Wounds, and Revivification most importantly.


I've never used the upper half of the levels. But I figured my players would be able to handle them by that point. I'm going to need another elaboration here. Because this statement makes no amount of sense.Ease of design apparently. I don't have a real answer for you here, I'm afraid /cop-out.


Spells are usually the first thing I drop from a game when I want to simplify it. But this was a refreshing change.I'm glad, they took a lot of work.


Somewhere in section 2, you'll see my opinion on that. I won't spoil it here.Gah, spoiled if for myself.


Yeah, I love pathfinder too.It is pretty great.


Specializations should be relocated and further elaborated upon. Currently they're hiding somewhere in the equipment section. Bring them up to class section. They are a good idea, but need a little grooming.I will bring them up, but they're scrapped for now.


I'd scrap the whole concept, but that's me. Give a few of those abilities to characters for free, and tie some of the others into certain classes. You're classes are very customizable as is, and probably don't need feats to add options.That's a personal flavor bias. I love feats. That's why so many of the classes get bonus feats (and solely why I love the fighter in 3.5). I'm glad you found the classes to be customizable!


I noticed that. Each filled exactly one page, but had a full chart and was very well organized. I was light on the classes on my read through, I'll go back over them again, but I will say this. Each time I had a clear idea what the class was, and through most I felt like I wanted to play it. The Rogue especially.That's a fantastic compliment, thank you. I do so love my class based systems.


I recall casting Bulls Strength and Enlarge Person on a Raging Vampire Barbarian. It took him seven minutes to attack... that was five modifiers... and that was one of my better players, but I wasn't Game Master so my reluctance to do his math for him gave way by the time he had to attack again.Everyone has stories like that, I know I do.


You know, I've seen nothing but disappointment from sidekicks in my games (other than one time in our GURPS Furries game... but that's a long story). This game is damn sexy... It definitely fixes a lot of 3.5's problems, possibly some of the best fixes I've seen in some time.That makes me very glad to hear. Thank you.



After all this, I guess I came in expecting a rules light system. I've been equating simplicity with speed of thought of a brain that has trouble processing math. My current project removes arithmetic from the core mechanic. In fact, you have arithmetic only in taking damage. Which part of me wants to do away with...I've been crunching numbers so long in gaming, I doubt I could do without it. I understand where you're coming from, though.

Section 2:

I'm about to be a total jerk. Granted I typed this line at the specialization comment, so I've already been jerking for the last... three hours, apparently.I appreciate your dedication, good Sir Jerk, truly! ;)


Now that I'm four hours in, I'm going to say that I'm not basing this off of anything... unless you consider my years of experience as a game designer... which I don't.

I think you misunderstood what a "Core Mechanic" is. A core mechanic is the basic rule that the whole game boils down to, not an explanation of the terms included. In this case, you are using the d20 core mechanic, which is:

"When you encounter a situation where success is in question, you roll a twenty sided die, add modifiers, then compare it to a target number. Sometimes this target number is another roll."

... or something similar.I think I might have misunderstood. That's a thing to work on when I'm more coherent.


Elves and Warforged don't have a +2 to any stats? I don't doubt that their other abilities make for that, but they are immediately less attractive to the uninformed. I'm speaking as an uninformed here.I'll see what I can do, but it does balance out their abilities.


Knee jerk reaction: Calling a class Mage (Cleric) or Warrior (Guardian)... feels a little... unfriendly. I understand grouping them by specialization or background, but when conversing about them in person, I can hardly see someone calling them by that name. It just sounds weird when you say it aloud. It does bring attention to the Favored Class tendency to a favored of each of the three specializations.

And as soon as I reach the page explaining what these parentysised items are, they say that the inner term is the class and outer is role. Now that I'm looking at it, I see what was bugging me. If it were me, I'd turn them inside out: Cleric (Mage), Wizard (Mage), Guardian (Warrior).I'm impressed with your insight, as I was worried about that. However, I don't know why I didn't think of that. Good idea, changed.


You still have feats, you still increase your stats as you level, and skills are still there... and you gain languages as you level... that's... genius. As you adventure you pick up tongues and... It just makes so much sense! ... but nothing was dropped... maybe the classes...I love languages, and despise the Tongues spell for that reason. Glad you like the change.


Hitting the classes... and to my total surprise, they're full of content. This is seriously where I thought you'd go simple. Where's the easy? Looks like multi-classing was removed, and each class conveniently fills exactly one page. Spell Points! The removal of memorized casting! That's delicious.I love class systems too much to make them generic.


Okay, closer look at the class abilities of the Mages. The theme seems to be customization. I like that.

Quick Question: Mages get Spells (and spell points), Savants get mechanical abilities (and Improv points)... what makes a Savant (Bard) instead of a Mage (Bard)?A focus on skills over spells since they get a far more limited list. Makes them a good jack of all trades, which is what Savants do.


Page 14 under Trapfinding (Ex): "You can use Engineering to disarm magical attacks." That's supposed to be "Traps"?Yup, typo, thanks.


I want to play that Rogue... I want to play that Rogue so much... wait... Sneak Attack happens when you "catch an enemy off guard"? You mean they must be unaware of your attack? ... or can you surprise them with unusual tactics? ...did you remove flatfoot AC?Yup, no Flat-Footed, or Touch AC for that matter. Most blasty spells hit automatically. The sneak up was more flavor, and since it's just really flanking, I'll change it.


So a Warrior (Barbarian) and Mage (Wizard) both get the same DR... I was wondering about that. The Abjuration ability of the Mage (Wizard) seems a little ultra-ultra. Just a little though.Ho, I did change the DR on the Wizard, didn't I?


Still on the Warrior (Barbarian), I was looking at the lack of a SP or Improv, and came to the conclusion that you just keep going and going, but you have a limited ability. I mean that might just be my weird thinking, but maybe you could rework those "Rage Rounds" into Improv points that can be spent to enter a rage.Yeah, they are kinda awkward. I'll see what I can do.


Returning to an earlier question, I guess I had only seen the barbarian when I asked the Mage (Bard) Question. I'm leaving it there, because the Savant (Bard) still felt a little more like a Mage (Bard) even if it lacked full spell progression.

Backing up... you used the same Base attack Bonus thing. I guess I'm going to go look it up now, but... I see it's left unanswered (or I couldn't find it) when you have a Base Attack Bonus of +6 or higher, do you get the extra attack for free, or as a full round action?Just as a full-round action and that should be...well, I did cover it in Combat, but I'll make it more clear. Good catch.

And about bards, well, I totally see where you're coming from. Rogues and Engineers can cast spells, but, yeah. For sheer convenience, I'll leave it for now, unless a better solution comes up.


At around this point, my short attention span and caffeine are hindering my ability to keep this organized.Fair enough, I'm there too.


Warrior (Tactician): What does Combat Mastery (EX) do? (I think there's a typo there)Yessir, you add your level.


Skills... Creativity? That skill makes sense, but the name seems like it will make some amusing conversation. "What happened there? You just kept attacking while the monsters swarmed you. You kept attacking while your friends fled. You kept attacking even though you missed almost every time!" "Well, I didn't have Creativity trained. My character was very simple."That's amusing. One of my friends actually conned me into to letting you use Creativity into getting sparks of inspiration from a higher power (the DM). Otherwise, it's Appraise, Perform, and Craft all meshed together.


There it is! One of the feats mentions full attacks. I assume that means full attacks are full round actions. That feat is Awesome Strike. And it... lets you take a penalty to an attack to gain an equal bonus to the next attack? The next statement makes me believe that's a typo, and you take that penalty to AC. Is this the case?You scared me, I thought I hadn't listed that in Combat for a second. And yeah, that's a typo left over from dodge. Awesome Strike is Power Attack. I just changed the terminology to avoid confusion what with the Power Focus.


That Savant (Rogue) I want to play... first level feat will be Parkour. Possibly the coolest feat on the list... though this Power Focus thing crept up on me. Do you need to be a magic user to have Power Focus? Or is it just something characters can do? The rule is placed in the rules for spell casting, so I guess that's a distinction you might want to make.Power Focus is under Magic, although it's apparently not well, apparent. Parkour is my favorite feat too.


And equipment time... Hm... I guess... Did I ever mention that equipment bores me? It does... I've created many a game that simplify equipment out of the system altogether. Though the "Piercing" weapon trait seems like a pain in the ass to implement.That one is the new, untested property, nice catch. I seemed to think both Natural Armor and regular Armor were listed on the character sheet. Makes it harder this way, since it's easy to get a really high AC in this game with minimal effort.


So these runes... they cost 1000 silver for each +1, right? None of the runes mention this +1. I have no point of reference as to how much they cost. Are they just to be discovered in game?Consider these taken out for now. Same as specializations below.


And Specializations, the classes that could not have been. They seem slapped on...That's cause they are, good eye. For the moment, consider 'em scrapped. Although for your question, you can pick up the specialization ability, and grab your upgraded class ability later on. Missed out on a bonus to bard song? You get the full shebang once you get there.


Attacks of Opportunity... of all the things I thought made d20 annoying for beginners, you left them in? I'm okay with that. It adds a... ... you know, as a game designer with seven years of experience, I still haven't figured out what they bring to the table.We've never had any problems with it, really.


Blinded: Attacks debatably require vision, do they receive the -4 penalty and the 50% miss chance? Is there any reason you didn't just make that a -4 to vision based rolls and attack rolls?Didn't want to overpower it too much. The 50% covers attacks, I believe.


Frightened: I have to run away? Really? Kelgar the Warrior (Barbarian) would never run from a fight! (Checking to make sure he's not immune)... Wait... at level 10, random opponents run away whenever I rage? Friggin' Sweet!I might make Barbarians immune to it so it makes sense.


Poisoned: 5% of my health... I think 5% of my players would be able to tell me how much that is. That's not an exaggeration.It looks harder than it is. Half of 10%. 67 hit points? 6 is 10%, 3 is 5%. Lose 3/round.


Prone: Wow, thatís a heavy penalty to attacks. So I guess I'm not going prone to snipe with my crossbow... or make myself a harder target to see... or hit at a range.Yea


Dead and Dying: So I'm under the impression that you removed stabilization and left death at a constant value for "ease", personally I think that makes the game harder, but whatever.Well, it is in the Healing skill, but it still could work here.


Natural Healing: Wow that sucks. I guess we'd better not go anywhere without a spell caster. Duck, "But I always play Rogues!" Digus, "But I always play Barbarians!" Nose, "But I wanted to play... alright, I'll heal..." (Real world quote)Rogues can heal, actually. This I don't believe is a huge issue, since any Mage can take Cure Light Wounds and have it work for many levels. Hell, every but Barbarians and Tacticians can in fact. But we addressed this a bit better in the actual Cure spell sections.


Regeneration: Alright, that's cool. Now why isn't poison that simple?Wanted to make Poison more legit, but not too much, Pokemon style. 10% isn't really that hard, but I guess it could be an issue. 67 hp? Drop off that second number and that's what you lose.


Now to spells... That is the last section right? Wait... that last page. Might I suggest Open Office.org? It can make .PDFs, has most of the functions of MS Word, and eats up memory like hungry Illithid... okay, maybe that last one is why I'm typing this in Notepad. Also they put .org on the application... It's a little silly, but it gets the job done.I've never really had problems with the .PDF printer, but I can give Open Office a shot.


Ah... the Augment system... the reason I'm hesitant to bring Psionics into my tabletop...As long as you remember the Golden Rule of Psionics: "You can only spend a number of points on any spell equal to your caster level. Period.", you'll be fine.


So I have this idea, take it with a grain of salt, but with one of my previous systems, I printed stuff out on Index cards. You could, set up another PDF with the spell list, each one right sized for such a purpose. That way when a player selects his spells you can hand out the cards to the players and take them back up at the end of the session. Maybe making multiple copies of the popular spells.That'd be fantastic if I could figure out how to do it. I'll give it a shot, although formatting hates me.


I saw this earlier, but it didn't register. There's but one spell list. So five of the nine classes can effectively heal. That means the Natural Healing isn't so bad.Seven out of nine, actually. Rogues and Engineers can both pick up Cure Light Wounds. Only Tacticians and Barbarians cannot.


Burning Hands: 2d4? So it gets twice the bonus from the Mage (Wizard) ability "Evocation"?You know, I even thought about that when I wrote this. 1d8 it is.


Cure Light Wounds: I see you upped it to twelve sided... I see you put this 10% thing. I'm serious when I say that most of my players couldn't move a decimal over. On that note Cure Serious Wounds has a 30% thing... that's even worse.The 10% is Fax Celestis' idea. The 12 was mine 'cause I love the d12, and the randomness is helpful, but not too much so. 10% isn't really hard in DnD with the round down rule. 54 hit points? 1d12+5 on a Light, 3d12+15 on a Serious.

You just drop the last number of your hit points (and times it by 3 for serious)


Jolt: What is this spell supposed to be. A "blast of storm"? You mean a storm cloud appears in... the 50 foot radius around the caster? What? That's either a typo, or really amazing. My DR happy Mage (Wizard) is going to flaunt this spell.Guess I gotta make the Range section more clear. A Blast is a solid area of space, 10 ft. by 10 ft. in this case. Bursts surround the target (Like Wall of Fire), and Lines are, well, straight lines.


Light: Taking it. Color of my choice? Damn strait. My dungeon crawl is going to be lit up with a puke green glowing orb. Plus it can attack. That is an awesome spell... I'm seriously saying that I like it, a lot.Glad you liked it! My players have enjoyed it too. Light is a staple spell, so I tried to make it worth it.


Protection: So resist energy, shield, and mage armor were reduced to a single spell. Nice. I think my Mage (Wizard) has his nitch.Endure Elements does it better, naturally, but it should be +2 Shield, Energy Resistance 5, to better scale with Valor.


Ray of Frost: Stuns the target for how long? They only get one save? Forget Burning Hands! Hell, forget dealing damage, my Mage (Wizard) will stun lock everyone and leave the Savant (Rogue) and Warrior (Barbarian) to mop up everyone.For what it's worth, Coup de Grace is gone, but you still make a good point. I'm going to change this one to a 2nd Tier Spell and drop Death Knell back into Tier 1.


Revivify: Bringing characters back from the dead, from first level? Wait, it has to be within 1 round? ... or within a couple rounds at higher levels? ... and that dang percent of the health thing is back. No sale.Well, I was surprised at this one. This was the favorite 1st level spell in playtesting, possibly because there's no equivalent in 3.5. This lets me take off the kid gloves a bit at 1st level because it lets you actually kill PC's. It'll bring you from dead dead (-10 and beyond) straight up to 1-2 hit points at level 1, where most things can't knock you back as quickly before the healer can patch you up. Or do you have a different perspective on this?


Sense Emotion: Game breaking. Sold!Is it really? There aren't flat DC's to change NPC's into your minions with high Persuasion, so what are you thoughts here?


Valor: okay, so there's a second protection... wait... doesn't Valor normally involve courage? How does hiding behind a magical shield equate courage? (joshing... don't answer that)Well, a name change might be in order if it's continually distracting.


Ability Boost: So I get all six for the price of one? Sold.Thanks psionics for that one.


Augury: ... that's 2nd tier? Can't someone just connect the results and save the spell known and SP? I can see it being used... by a 1st level character played by someone who's knew to the game, but by this point... I highly doubt...This, and a lot of the 2nd Tier spells need some revision. This one is getting almost scrapped completely. I feel the hour duration in the new draft helps keep it legit, plus, there aren't many buffers on Tier 2.

Augury
Duration: 1 hour/level
Range: -
Spell Point Cost: 3 SP
You read the fates to determine the results of an immediate future action. The success of a reply to a question determined is automatic success if straightforward or automatic failure if too vague, with either Good, Bad, or Nothing as the result. After casting, you gain a +2 luck bonus to saving throws and AC for the duration of the spell.
Augment: For every additional 2 SP spent on this spell, the bonus to saving throws and AC increases by +2.


Control Wind: Why not have it every 1 SP spent increases the DC by 1... holy... I didn't even notice that Augments all cost the same... Ray of Frost is better.I'm gonna try beefing the spell up to push within range of the spell, i.e. 50 ft. to make it more viable. See that cliff over there? Woosh.


Death Knell: All dying creature must save or die? You heal a little. Neat, if it were Tier 1, otherwise...The range is off too, actually. That should be 50 ft. I'm just gonna drop this back to Tier 1, in place of Ray of Frost. I'm gonna buff the healing a bit, d8 or somethin'.


Endure Elements: Never mind...Hmm?


Fireball: It knocks people prone? Why would anyone use Control Wind?I started playing Dragon Age....Good point, though. Hope that Control Wind beefing helps. If not, I can simply remove that, and keep the Control Wind beef.


Invisibility: That augment seems awkward. Maybe it was instead a maintain style... am I suggesting an extra rule? Shame on me.Didn't really know how else to do it, really. That +2 vs visible creatures is so paltry I didn't bother.


Knock: It hurts constructs? That's neat. But I've decided, my Mage (Wizard) lives in a barn. That way only an Archmage can bug him.Based off an argument from a friend that Knock cannot, in fact, open the chests of living people. I decided to appease him a little.


Levitate: Is that free range flight?Shouldn't be. The 20 ft./round should restrict this a good bit, though. Do you feel more nerfing is required?


Mirror Image: So, they're all adjacent to me. What happens when I have a dozen or more of them, are they all in the same spaces as me... is this game mint for battle map use?That's somewhat from the original spell, but I messed it up. And it should be battle map ready. How about:

"You create 1d4+1 illusionary duplicates of yourself which remain clustered around you, each within 5 ft. of another duplicate or you. Although they have no solid form, your duplicates mimic your actions, and each have an AC of 15 and 1 Hit Point."


Terror: Damn... That's cool. My Mage (Wizard) will flaunt this will the Warrior (Barbarian) sits and waits for his capstone ability.Cool. Of course, even the Barbarian can't rob them of their power focus that way.


Agonize: There's something... I'd call it a 2nd Tier though... unless it hit an area.I can definitely see that. 20 ft burst and change Range to 50 ft.?


Dispel Magic: Now you're talking. That's what I call big guns. Sold.

Dominate: Also awesome. Sold.Awesome, and awesome.


Flight: So Levitate wasn't free range flight?I messed this one up bad.


Heroism: Slightly wonky wording... otherwise a nice one.How about:

"You impart the spirit of an ancient hero onto yourself or an ally, granting a +5 divine bonus on attack and damage rolls for the duration of the spell. In addition, critical threat ranges are also doubled for the duration."


Pandemonium: The spell that would sell the my Rogue player on a spell caster... probably the Mage (Bard)... I mean Savant (Bard).That one is a personal request from a friend, based off the Rod of Wonder. Glad you liked!


Polymorph: Typo on the Augment... or the duration.On the Augment, thanks. It should be 1 min/level.


Summon Anima: ... That's... setting specific, isn't it? Maybe on a revision, you could put a little of that.Could be, definitely. The original draft was a summon of just about anything, really, it just had the same stats. As simple as I could make summoning, really.


Time Hop: Hilarious! Sold! Not as powerful as Ray of Frost, but sold nonetheless!That's one of my favorite psionic powers. Had to include it. Damn useful too.


True Seeing: You cause a Will save... to yourself? That seems wonky. I'd as soon make it absolute. Second, the Range is touch and 100... oh, the true sight only reaches 100 ft. They couldn't use it to see through an illusionary castle on the horizon, or something. Okay, but the wording is... not bad, but you might possibly consider rearrange it. Never mind, I tried, and that's as good a wording as I could come to.For some reason, I thought the original spell was worded that way. Thanks, I'll try to make it a bit more legible.


Wall of Fire: That guy deals a lot of damage but isn't nearly as flashy as other effects. I'd cast that on top of a Ray of Frosted guy. Unless flavor gets in the way, sold!


Spells that Augment doesn't seem worth it at all: Detect Magic, Gravitate (also, weird name), Entangle, Jolt, Magic Missile, Augury, Calm Emotions, Dimension Swap (allies larger than large?), Spider Climb, Terror, Agonize, Blur, True Seeing (I've mentioned it, but I'll say it again). Maybe you shouldn't put an Augment on everything.It's better than it was in previous drafts, but I get that. I'll still attempt to make them all worth it, 'cause that's how it should be.


Also for consideration, maybe you could have each character have a single saving throw that all their spells roll off of. Or something like 10 + Casting modifier + SP expended.Could you sum that up a bit more simply? My brain isn't working well at the moment, but it sounds like a good idea.


Conclusion: Advertise as a d20 fix, not an easier d20. It's good, really good... but it's not much easier... at all.

I guess I could go back and look at classes as in depth as I did spells... I'm in a totally different zone by now. And I'll repeat, nothing here should be taken too seriously. This is all the same random thought process I have whenever I plow through a game.Well, you've given me more to work with than I had ever imagined. Thank you so much for all your work!